A Universalist Meets a Unitarian Monotheist…

From the ‘Community and Truth’ blog of Naked Pastor.  

Jesus laid down the law. No one can keep it” (Steve)

So Jesus fulfills a law we cannot keep anyways – do you believe he was God also? Has God set us up for failure then? Think about the logic for a second…God creates a law for the children of God – but He makes it so hard they cannot keep it – dooming them to failure and…well…punishment. Who can love that God? He is both setting up unrealistic expectations in the first place and then judging people by something you say ‘no one can keep’. Was God at one point un-loving?

I would also point out – pertaining to the law – the Jewish faith still keeps and cherishes it – or how do we judge their faith?

The problem won’t be solved by us since everything we do is tainted by sin” (Steve)

As per the quote, what we do in comparison to God is ‘like filthy rags’ and rightfully so – we are comparing creation with the Creator – I am also guessing we all feel like Isaiah in that presence of the Creator ‘not worthy’ to even look upon it or speak. But just because God is holy does not stop Him from establishing relationships w/humans – including Isaiah (prior to a Messiah ever stepping on earth).

But sin is weird thing and the atonement. If you check into the atonement Jesus’ blood sacrifice is compared to the sacrifice of the bull once a year (in Hebrews) for all the people. This only dealt with sins committed in ignorance and not willfully. Now Jesus is greater than that sacrifice – I comprehend that – however according to God’s Torah Jesus would of opened the way to the ‘Holy One’ – forever branching that divide (once and for all) – for the Jew and Gentile. Animal sacrifices now gone.

As for atonement, actually we play our part also. The Jewish people have 3 aspects for atonement (1) blood sacrifice (2) repentence (3) charity – according to the Law and Prophets. All 3 of these aspects we see in Jesus teachings and sacrifice. First words in Matthew from Jesus to the people is ‘repent’ – which is a key message throughout. Odd thing about repentence – it takes you to do it (God cannot do this on your behalf). Charity is actually a very big principle within the gospels, letters, and Acts – something we see Paul and the disciples very engaged in – almost as if they saw this as part of the gospel message. I can find it very easily in Matt 25 – the sheep and goats parable – anyone else see ‘charity in that passage?

The law is good and the Psalms attest to this fact over and over…and not once is the idea it cannot be lived up to explained in the Tanakh – and would also add Jesus’ own words to that list. Jesus makes no bones about us following the ‘commandments’ – including the ideas of ‘love Gpd and your neighbor” (from Deut) and ‘treat others how you want to be treated’ (this sums up ALL the Torah and Prophets). How can you even claim the Torah was not meant to be followed? Jesus points straight in it’s direction also and I am not sure the following commandments of summation Jesus used – you break?

He sent His Son to live the perfect lives we cannot and will not live.” (Steve)

I actually fail to see how perfection was the mandate in the first place – sinlessness seemed to be what Jesus was called/created for. But in all honesty, perfection is not once recorded in the Tanakh – it’s not even a concept in Hebrew. Now God may not want us to ’sin’ – 100% in agreeance there – but perfection – what is that? Are we making a standard of unreasonable heights for the reason of making God look greater and us look worse? Why do we need to do this?

“We don’t get better so that Christ will love us and forgive us…He loves us and forgives us…then we get better” (Steve)

God loves us and always has…even prior to the crucifixion – however prior to that crucifixion there was no real inclusion for the Gentiles into the ‘Holiest place’. Christ changed that and made it equal for all to come and learn. God loves us – but even God will not do everything for us – Jesus dies once for all (not many times for many) – but that death means all can come and learn before God and no one can stop them. But it does not mean God does everything for us – we are responsible for our participation and 2 acts of atonement – reprentance and charity – we are now priests according to Hebrew of this sanctuary – we need to learn what that means and how to be a ‘priest’.

That’s what the Gospel means. How can it be good news if we have to toe the mark?” (Steve)

What mark? Of course even you would be lying if Jesus does not ask us of to behave in a certain way – so if there is a mark – it is something possible. I have very little problem with Jesus asking of us the things he does – in the end we have to act like judges (and on earth in a way) – and how do we judge in our personal courts (what measures do we use)? Should we be like the teachings of the Christ? He was merciful to the unmerciiful and peace where there was none. I think the teachings of Jesus are a great guide to ‘life’.